• Friday, July 25, 2014

Australian Open

Nadal can tie Sampras

Afp, Melbourne

Rafael Nadal will look to give Stanislas Wawrinka a rough welcome to his first Grand Slam final as he bids to tie Pete Sampras with 14 major titles at the Australian Open on Sunday.
American great Sampras will present the winner's trophy, with the Spanish marvel an overwhelming favourite to vanquish the popular and constantly improving Swiss for the year's opening Slam title.
World number one Nadal has yet to drop a set in 12 encounters with Wawrinka, who knocked over three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic and world number seven Tomas Berdych to reach the final.
Nadal again mastered his long-time rival Roger Federer in the semi-finals -- a result which installed Wawrinka as Swiss number one -- to reach his third Australian final as he seeks to add his 2009 triumph.
Victory would also make Nadal only the third man, after Australians Roy Emerson and Rod Laver, to have won each of the four Grand Slam titles twice.
It is hard to see past Nadal winning, even though Wawrinka is playing the best tennis of his life, good enough to take him past close friend Federer in the new world rankings out next week.
Nadal, at 27 years, would become the youngest man in history to win 14 Grand Slams, eclipsing Federer's corresponding feat at Roland Garros in 2009 by 66 days.

HEAD-TO-HEAD
Nadal has not dropped a set in 12 previous matches against Wawrinka

Published: 12:00 am Sunday, January 26, 2014

Last modified: 11:34 pm Sunday, January 26, 2014

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